When we were dating and throughout our first few years of marriage, my dear sweet husband would buy me roses — usually red roses. I think he just thought that’s what women liked and that red roses were the quintessential embodiment of love and romance. Although I totally appreciated the thought and effort he put into buying those roses, truthfully, I didn’t really care for them. I just thought they were so normal and average, and shall I dare say “boring.” I wanted something unique and different — maybe it was because I took a floral design class in college or because I’ve always been attracted to all things unusual or a tad quirky. But it’s probably because I constantly remember seeing red roses and baby’s breath at the supermarket whenever my mom would take me grocery shopping with her. Deep down, I wished my husband would pick some other flower to give me — something that required a tiny bit more effort. I finally gained the courage to offer some other botanical suggestions, and he proceeded with orchids instead. Ahhh…much better.
But when we moved into our current home about a year and a half ago, the previous owners had planted all different kinds of rose bushes throughout our backyard. We moved in late fall, so all that was left were just branches and leaves. I knew I was supposed to cut them back and prune them, but I had no idea what I was doing. In between getting poked from all those bloody thorns (spoken in my best British accent), I figured I cut them too far down and killed them anyways. But the following year, they amazingly grew back, and I completely fell in love with them — the softness and gracefulness of their form, their watercolor-dipped petals, and most of all, their intoxicating smell! Don’t tell my husband — but I think I like them now.